Governor General’s Shortlist: English Poetry, 2010
Boxing the Compass
Richard Greene (Cobourg, ON)
Press; Vehicule/Signal (Montreal)
Vox Status: Unread.
Demographics Appeased: Academics, old men, the aphoristic, Anglophiles.
Michael Harris (Montreal)
Press: Vehicule/Signal (Montreal)
Vox Status: Unread, but queued up
Demographics Appeased: See previous nominee. Also: first book in years
&: A Serial Poem
Author: Daryl Hine (Chicago)
Press: Fitzhenry & Whiteside (Markham, ON)
Vox Status: Unread
Demographics Appeased: See nominee #1. Also: first book in years
Exploding Into Night
Sandy Pool (Calgary)
Press: Guernica (Toronto)
Vox Status: Read
Demographics Appeased: Young people, women, themed-book fans, my fellow Parkdalians and Guelph MFA grads.
Melanie Siebert (Victoria)
Press: McClelland & Stewart (Toronto)
Vox Status: Read
Demographics Appeased: Young people, eco-poets, West-Coasters
A good list for… Signal Editions, older poets, surprises
A bad list for… Coach House, Anansi, Brick, Atlantic Canada, the “avant garde” (as per usual), my roommates.
A lot of people are going to be hating on this list over the next few weeks. But let me say this first, and get out of your way: I like the Governor General’s Award. I understand that they’ve given up their mantle as premiere Canadian poetry award to the upstart private sectoroos. However, like the doddering old ex-patriarch, they occasionally waddle into the boardroom, tipsy on their medicine, to steer the company in weird new directions. We need this. The Griffins are great, but for all their proud drive to consensus and canonicity, they need something like the GGs to occasionally break the silence with a rousing cheer of, “Doesn’t anybody remember Daryl Hine!” (or, as per last year, “David Zieroth?”)
Re: The Greene book. Sorry, was in a rush and couldn’t find the Vehicule link. Wouldn’t normally link to Amazon.